President Trump has signed legislation that will end a key Obama administration rule on coal mining.
The bill, signed on Thursday, overturns the Office of Surface Mining’s Stream Protection Rule, a regulation designed to protect waterways from coal mining waste that was only finalised in December.
The rule was considered to be among the most controversial environmental regulations that the former administration passed. The coal mining industry claimed it would be costly to implement and lead to job losses across the sector, which has already endured several years of difficult market conditions.
At the signing, Trump called the regulation “another terrible job killing rule” and said ending it would save “many thousands American jobs, especially in the mines, which, I have been promising you — the mines are a big deal.”
“This is a major threat to your jobs and we’re going to get rid of this threat,” he added. “We’re going to fight for you.”
The bill is the second piece of legislation designed to end an Obama-era environmental regulation since President Trump took office last month. On Tuesday, he signed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution cancelling a financial disclosure requirement for energy companies.
Both the mining and financial disclosure bills are expected to be the start of a significant Republican drive to reverse a wave of regulations implemented in the closing days of the Obama administration. The House has passed several CRA resolutions, and the Senate has so far sent three of them to President Trump for his signature.